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April 20, 2011

Pasture scene

Several factors should play role in pasture rental rates.

For those who have not yet negotiated pasture rental rates for this year, Kansas State University (K-State) Ag Economist Kevin Dhuyvetter reminds that there are several factors that landowners and livestock producers should consider as they negotiate rates.

Numerous factors influence the rental rate for any tract of land, such as forage quality, stocking rate, size of pasture, water availability and more; but there are three primary factors that explain much of the variability in average rental rates over time, said Dhuyvetter, who is a farm management specialist with K-State Research and Extension. Read more.

What If?

Farm risk management helps minimize possible financial burdens.

Death, divorce and disability can leave a farm struggling financially if there is no contingency plan in place, says a Purdue Extension financial planning and tax specialist.
A contingency plan defines how a farm will recover from a critical event to resume normal operation. It helps producers think clearly in emergency situations so they can avoid trying to solve problems at the last minute.

"All too often producers do not think about negative, rare events that could happen on their farms," George Patrick said. "What if the person responsible for the farm's daily operation could no longer help? Is there someone that can help on a part-time basis, or is there another change that needs to be made?" Read more.

David Mullins

David Mullins

Association Perspective

Life beyond EPDs.

The American Angus Association and its members benefit from possessing the largest and most informative data base in the entire beef industry, allowing the formation of more than 25 expected progeny differences (EPDs) and dollar value indexes ($Values) to help guide genetic selection. But, as valuable and highly respected as EPDs are, there are several economically important phenotypic traits that cannot be evaluated through the use of performance data. Two phenotypic traits that play a significant role in beef production are (1) structural soundness, more specifically proper/good feet on herd sires and replacement females; and (2) udder structure and quality among replacement females. Read more.

Angus Expands Genomic-enhanced Growth EPDs

Genomic-enhanced EPDs include growth, carcass, feed efficiency and docility traits.

The American Angus Association and Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) continue to expand their offering of genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs). In early April, the entities announced that the High Density 50K (HD 50K) platform from Pfizer Animal Genetics will be incorporated into genomic-enhanced EPDs for growth traits, including birth, weaning and yearling weight EPDs; as well as milk EPDs.

Through the American Angus Association, AGI now offers genomic-enhanced EPDs for carcass, growth and residual average daily gain (RADG) traits incorporating genomic data from both Pfizer Animal Genetics and the Igenity® Profile for Angus. A genomic-enhanced EPD for docility incorporating Igenity results is also available. Read more.

Beef Checkoff Program Issues
Social Responsibility Report

‘Cattlemen's Stewardship Review’ chronicles U.S. beef history, outlines industry challenges and offers future goals.

In early April, the Beef Checkoff Program released "The Cattlemen's Stewardship Review: Connecting Our Vision and Values," a first-of-its-kind look at cattlemen's influence on the nation's communities, the economy, public health and the environment.
Cattlemen'sStewardship Review
The "Cattlemen's Stewardship Review" comes at a critical time, when people are more disconnected from agriculture and food production yet have an increasing interest in knowing more about who raises food. In fact, nearly three out of four people say they want to know more about how beef is raised and who raises it, according to checkoff research.

Built on a statement of seven fundamental principles adopted by U.S. cattle farmer and rancher leaders at the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention in February, the review details cattlemen's commitment to preserving the environment, raising healthy cattle, providing quality food, enhancing food safety, investing in communities, embracing innovation and creating a sustainable future for generations to come. Read more.

Calculating Livestock Numbers
by Weather and Climate

Cattle on pastureRanchers in the central Great Plains may be using some of their winter downtime in the future to rehearse the upcoming production season, all from the warmth of their homes, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) soil scientists.

The ranchers would use the GPFARM (Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management)-Range computer model to see which cattle or sheep stocking rate scenarios are sustainable. Soil scientists Gale Dunn and Laj Ahuja with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are testing the model in enough locations to get the model fully usable throughout the central Great Plains. Read more.

What’s Inside …

In this April edition of the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, you'll find valuable articles devoted to the management, marketing, and health and nutrition of your beef enterprise. Select from the tabs at the top of the page to access this month's entire offering by category. A few select features include:

News Briefs …

The American Angus Association and its subsidiaries generate a wealth of information to keep members and affiliates informed of what's happening within the industry as well as with the programs and services they offer. Click here for easy access to the newsrooms of the American Angus Association and Certified Angus Beef LLC and the Angus e-List archive.

gas canFacts About Vehicle Fuel Economy

NDSU dispels fuel mileage misconceptions.

People looking for ways to reduce their vehicle's fuel consumption to save money may have some misconceptions about fuel economy.

"One of those misconceptions is that a vehicle has to be a compact car to get good mileage," says Carl Pedersen, North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service energy educator. "But that's not the case. You can get great fuel economy in standard-sized cars with newer technologies such as diesel engines, hybrid drive trains and advanced transmissions. In fact, the most fuel-efficient car for the 2010 model year was a midsized car." Read more.

Your Health

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips
for Flooding, Power Outages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing recommendations for affected residents in the Southeast and Midwest to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses due to flooding, power outages and other problems often associated with the powerful storm system moving through the area, and causing severe weather.

"Particularly during times of emergency, food safety can be a critical public health risk," says FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "In the affected areas, the American public should be aware that information is readily available to help them protect their food supply."
Read more.



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